Scottish Government Executive Team were made aware of CAP system conflict of interest at ‘Ask ET’ session and failed to act

Documents have come to light that show that the entire executive team were made aware of the conflict of interest on the highly troubled CAP system long before they acted upon it.

This in itself was strongly criticised by the Audit Commission in their report into the CAP System project in May, 2016.

The following emails were exchanged with the Executive Teams own Communications Manager, prior to the meeting and these questions and points were raised in person by a whistleblower on the project:

Directors,

As you know, the next meeting of the Strategic Board is taking place in Saughton House on Thursday, March 5. As part of the Board’s visit to Saughton, the Executive Team will host an ‘Ask ET’ session for staff from 1130 – 1230.

Colleagues can book a place on events online, and post questions in advance of the event on Yammer using the hashtag #asket. It’s an opportunity for Saughton colleagues to find out more about the work of the Executive Team, and vice versa.

I’d be very grateful if you could encourage colleagues in your area to book a place. They will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Please let me know if you have any queries.

Kind regards,

Jacqui Randle

The following questions were submitted to the Executive Team on 2nd March, 2015:

asket What steps were taken to ensure the project officers did not benefit financially to roll off existing people from the AFRC project and replace them with cheap labour? How have those safeguards been measured and validated?

asket Given that it takes on average two weeks to bring on board new people to the AFRC project and that each team change so far has led to between 3 and 5 days project downtime, has the project recovered the 15 or so man years of lost time caused by rolling off productive people to replace them with cheap labour? How are you measuring the effectiveness of these decisions and what evidence have you seen to validate these decisions?

asket Considering thsat there is 29% youth unemployment in the local area, including IT graduates, what efforts did you take to recruit from this resident workforce for the AFRC project before seeking staff overseas?

From these written questions and the subsequent oral questions that were presented, it is clear that there remains a desperate need for a full inquiry into the CAP system debacle.

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UK Businesses in mass complaint of Illegal State Aid to foreign IT Corporations


Following the Illegal State Aid EU ruling into the Apple / Ireland arrangement hundreds of small UK Businesses, tired of playing second fiddle to large foreign IT Corporations  have been complaining en masse that Tier2 visas, ICT visas and special foreign company tax arrangements also amount to illegal state aid.

“If Apple’s arrangements with Ireland amounted to illegal state aid, then we have to ask if the UK and Scottish Governments have been providing illegal state aid to the large IT corporations – including CGI and Spectromax who have both made a fortune out of the ill fated Cap System for processing rural payments. There have been complaints that they sacked UK workers in favour of cheaper foreign workers who are reported to pay zero or considerably reduced taxes compared to their UK counterparts due to incentivised tax arrangements.” One small business complained.

Those interested in adding their name to the complaint form can find it here:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/forms/intro_en.html

David Cameron’s Migration Advisory Committee calls into question the IT skills crisis and concerns are raised about visa abuse for migrant workers

The recently published report by the Migration Advisory Committee has called into question the IT skills crisis that is cited by predominantly foreign body shop IT companies.

These companies have been accused by industry experts and politicians alike of abusing the system to  flood the market with cheap migrant IT labour.

The NHS and other sectors have been crying out for Tier 2 staff but have been thwarted by the continual abuse of the system by IT corporations who use up the allotted visas unnecessarily.

The report also raises  the unprecedented supply of migrant workers from India – with the suggestion that nowhere else in the World can there be found skilled IT staff – whilst industry experts suggest that the truth is much more sinister.

In the report the Migration Advisory Committee states:

In the year ending August 2015, 72 per cent of all applications within the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) route were for Indian nationals, of which 86 per cent were working within the IT sector

The use of Tier 2 migrants  is at the expense of UK IT firms and workers who would have been employed in the absence of third-party contracting. 

And because this lowers the return to working in the IT sector for UK resident workers, it may reduce the incentives to acquire these skills to the longer-term disadvantage of the UK.

 The relatively high unemployment rate in this occupation could also be an indication of over-supply of certain skills

The salaries in IT occupations also do not seem to be increasing significantly relative to average earnings in other graduate-level occupations

this is not consistent with the view of a labour market with a high level of skill shortages

 In their October 2015 report, the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU) found, in a survey of over 10,000 graduates, that the unemployment rate of Computer Science graduates six months after graduating was 10.6 per cent, substantially higher than the overall average for all graduates of 6.3 per cent

“With massive layoffs in the UK of UK staff numbering close to half a million UK workers it has been a grave concern to see the UK Government approving 97% of 400,000 visa applications from India alone.” One IT consultant told us.

Industry experts told us

“The Government’s own figures reveal that the public sector has delivered failure after failure by using these foreign IT body shops that abuse the Tier 2 visa process.”

“Indeed the costs of these failures alone has cost the public purse a staggering £45 Billion, and has sabotaged British Industry and destroyed UK worker livelihoods.”

“George Osborne would not need to implement additional austerity measures if he had not squandered the public purse so on IT failures.”

Tier 2 Visa Review

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/493039/Tier_2_Report_Review_Version_for_Publishing_FINAL.pdf

Scottish Tory MPs call for Public Inquiry

http://www.scottishconservatives.com/2016/03/cap-inquiry-demands-as-lochhead-accuses-critics-of-throwing-bricks/

European Services Strategy Unit – ICT Cost Overruns

 http://www.european-services-strategy.org.uk/news/2007/ict-contract-chaos/105-ict-contracts.pdf

Government Immigration Statistics

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-july-to-september-2015/work

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-statistics

US Company Pays $1/2 million settlement to displaced US workers in visa abuse scandal

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicagarrison/all-you-americans-are-fired#.vpYOOzv0p

U.K. Government pledges to process 400,000 Indian migrant visas EVERY year 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicagarrison/all-you-americans-are-fired#.vpYOOzv0p

Visa Abuse and IT Project Failures

http://m.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/16/whitehall_it_projects_lose_millions_pounds_/

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-20150222-column.html

http://www.techeye.net/business/uk-big-business-exploits-visa-loophole-to-decimate-it-jobs

http://investorplace.com/2014/02/cgi-group-contract-extension-obamacare-accenture/

http://m1.marketwatch.com/articles/BL-MW243B-2789?mobile=y&mobile=y

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA090Y520140110

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/msps-told-under-fire-it-payment-system-should-be-ditched-1-4056977

http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2014/04/features/7k-government-pcs/viewall

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/650152/Farm-payment-scandal-Dominic-Prabhu-Spectromax-Solutions-Ltd-profit-increase

https://www.cgi-group.co.uk/news/scottish-government-awards-cgi-6.5-million-pound-contract-to-deliver-electronic-vote-counting-system

http://www.channelbiz.co.uk/2015/06/29/cgi-wins-scottish-public-sector-contracts-worth-up-to-105m/

https://www.cgi-group.co.uk/news/city-of-edinburgh-council-awards-seven-year-£186m-transformational-ict-outsourcing-and-digital-services-contract-to-cgi

 

Government fears rural backlash as CAP Delivery Director files accounts showing 4000% increase in turnover as farmers continue to wait for rural subsidies    

Spectromax Solutions filed its accounts today for the monies it made supplying staff to the ill fated CAP Payment System.

Owned by the Delivery Director of the CAP System who was widely believed to have been brought into the project by one of his pals in Scottish Government, the accounts show a turnover of some £3.5million compared to £80k in the year before he became Delivery Director.

Richard Lochhead, the unwitting Agriculture Minister ultimately responsible for this unmitigated disaster, was made aware of claims that senior managers on the CAP project deliberately sabotaged the project in order to maximise personal profits.

“These accounts clearly show that some people made an awful lot of money out of this project and that those in power put personal interest in front of the successful delivery of the project.” One person claimed on hearing the news.

Farmers and developers have called for a Public Inquiry and for senior managers at Scottish Government to be made personally accountable and liable for what has happened.

Spectromax Solutions accounts can be downloaded for free from 

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08779740/filing-history